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liquid-He, world-branching, etc.

Got spam yesterday from someone in the chemistry department saying:

"I left 30 Liters of liquid Helium sitting outside my door. It's yours for the taking."

Hmmm, tempting. I wonder if anyone nabbed it yet. 30L sounds like a lot. I've played with liquid Nitrogen once, but never liquid Helium. I like getting these emails a lot better than the "make you penis grow 10 inches overnight" variety.

Went through all my orientation and stuff yesterday and today.
I found out our school is ranked #1 in the nation for most beautiful campus, by Princeton Review. I was wondering what campus could be more beautiful... I guess that answers that question :)

Classes start tomorrow. And I'll find out how I did on the quals tomorrow.

Oh yeah... and I won a coin toss today. Which means I don't have to TA the 8am section! The loser of the toss was distraught, I feel bad for him, but not as bad as I'd have felt if I'd have lost. More and more, recently, I've been thinking in terms of the Many-Worlds-Interp; especially in light of some of the recent things David Deutsch has said on it. It makes me wonder if there is a stack of universes where I lost the coin toss and therefore will be getting up twice a week at 6:45am this whole quarter. Then again, air currents are probably not influenced much by quantum fluxuations.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 25th, 2003 07:34 am (UTC)
Doesn't liquid helium have to be kept ridiculously cold? And go get it! I've always wanted to play with liquid helium. It has all sorts of cool properties. Well, Helium II that is.

Which helium is it?

Go get it man!
Sep. 25th, 2003 08:22 pm (UTC)
Okay, I went and checked it out today. It's still there, but I think it's going to be all evaporated soon. They keep it at 4-degrees Kelvin in a Dewar canister (basically just a big thermus). The guy was there in the lab that it was sitting outside of, and he said "sure... just wheel it away and do whatever you want with it. Just get the canister back to me."

However, the girl I was with suggested that I ask around about how to get it out of the Dewar before I go ahead and bring it over to our physics building. I at first told her no way... I'm taking it, and we'll figure out how to use it later. But then after some argument I gave in and decided to come back for it.

So then I asked a guy who works next door to us about what I needed to get it out and what I could do with it--and unfortunately, he said "not much". Apparently, liquid Helium isn't anywhere near as fun to play with as Nitrogen. It's less stable and tends to evaporate as soon as you let it out of the canister, so there's no way to pour it on things or put it in a temporary container. I said "so... what's the most interesting thing I could do with it?" And he said "fill up balloons and breath them in." So, I decided it wasn't worth it. A little disappointing, but I guess I learned something. That explains why nobody has claimed it.

It has all sorts of cool properties. Well, Helium II that is.

Which helium is it?

I'm pretty sure it was just He by itself (not He2 if that's what you were asking). I think that only forms under very special conditions.
Sep. 26th, 2003 08:29 pm (UTC)
Your life is cooler than mine.
Sep. 27th, 2003 02:17 am (UTC)
Mine is a lot cooler right now than it usually is. That's for sure! I can't believe how new and different every day is.

Oh yeah... yesterday, I attended a reception for all the new grad students from all departments, and I ended up talking to a bunch of philosophy majors most of the time. And one history of consciousness major.

I asked them all about the differences between the two departments. I didn't really understand their full answer (something about anglo- verses euro- interpretations of Kant?) but from what I gathered, History of Consciousness would probably be a lot cooler, and more what you would want. I'll tell you more next time we talk.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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